Tuesday 2 October 2012

679 The Happiness Patrol Part Two

EPISODE: The Happiness Patrol Part Two
TRANSMITTED: Wednesday 09 November 1988
WRITER: Graeme Curry
DIRECTOR: Chris Clough
SCRIPT EDITOR: Andrew Cartmel
PRODUCER: John Nathan-Turner
RATINGS: 4.6 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who: Ace Adventures Box Set (Dragonfire/The Happiness Patrol)

The Doctor and Earl Sigma escape from the Kandy Man by trapping him with Lemonade that dissolves his feet. They escape into pipes and meet the native Pipe People who then rescue Ace. The Doctor is taken to meet the planet's leader Helen A and injects to her efforts in reducing the population. He encounters a pair of snipers monitoring a demonstration and through sheer force of will disarms them. Ace interrupts Susan Qs execution and the Doctor gets the Kandyman to abort the flow of fondant surprise. Ace and Susan Q are taken to Helen A who sentences them to the late show at the forum. The Doctor sees posters and goes to the forum to rescue them

Watching this is a really odd experience, it feels very bitty. I can see what's going on but am not convinced it flows too well. The scene where the Doctor disarms the snipers just using the force of his will is fabulous though.

Cast time: Sheila Hancock as Helen A and Ronald Fraser playing Joseph C were both familiar faces on TV and stage. Two of the cast had been in Peter Davison's last season: John Normington, here playing Trevor Sigma, was Morgus in Caves of Androzani (and later play Tom Flanagan in Torchwood: Ghost Machine) while Lesley Dunlop, as Susan Q, was Norna in Frontios. Harold Innocent plays Gilbert M here and would later play Freeth in the Doctor Who Radio drama, The Paradise of Death. Inside the Kandy Man is David John Pope who was Michael Chandri, in the Star Cops episode Easy Listening For Beginners. Tim Scott, the Forum Doorman, was in Delta and the Bannermen as Chima. The two Snipers are credited on the end titles as Steve Swinscoe & Mark Carroll but the Radio Time identifies their characters as David & Alex S. Carrol has been in Time & the Rani, uncredited, as a Tetrap & Genii, one of the Lakertyans.

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